Mobilizing Local Resources to Support Health Programs
Local resources can significantly contribute to national governments’ and external donors’ efforts to maintain and extend health programs. By identifying and using the full range of local resources, both monetary and nonmonetary, health programs can help build partnerships among public, private, and government sectors; involve individuals and groups in the community; and strengthen and expand health services.
Resources can be financial or nonfinancial. While the value of nonfinancial resources—such as labor, supplies, or space—is often overlooked, these resources are important sources of support. Moreover, they exist in every community. The challenge for health programs is to identify these resources and use them effectively to meet community health needs. To do this, programs may need to work with local individuals and groups to better understand the community’s needs and to facilitate its increased involvement in health care services. As communities become more involved and assume greater responsibility for their health care, both individuals and groups may also actively advocate with governments at all levels to assume a larger role in supporting the provision of health care.
This issue of The Manager discusses the role of local resources in strengthening health services. It will help health managers at the local level to identify types of local resources that may be available to them, decide on strategies for mobilizing these resources, and assess the value of such resources to their organization or program.